Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist June 2016 Contents Australian Pharmacist June 2016 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Only 1% of Australians aged
18–74 understand age-appropriate
vaccination is vital to maintaining good
while just 20% of those at most
risk of infection have been vaccinated
against pneumococcal pneumonia,
according to figures released by Lung
Foundation Australia to mark Pneumonia
Awareness Week (May 9–15).
Respiratory physician and Lung
Foundation Australia National Council
member, Associate Professor Lucy
Morgan, from Sydney, said while
the so-called ‘Super seniors’ positive
attitude towards their health was
admirable, 52% of this age group
were at increased risk of contracting
pneumococcal pneumonia through an
existing medical condition or lifestyle
factors (i.e., current or past smoking).
The Foundation’s Breathe well, age well
research found that 66% of Australian
adults considered themselves to be
younger and fitter than their parents
were at their age, and many therefore
underestimated the potential for
vaccination to ‘add years to life.’
Further, 87% of seniors (aged 65–74)
considered themselves to be younger
and fitter than their parent’s generation
were at their age, while 65% did not
consider their age to be a health-risk
factor. Furthermore, the majority in this
age group (57%) did not believe that
contracting, pneumococcal pneumonia
would have a major impact on their lives.
‘ We are seeing the rise of a generation
of healthy, fit and fabulous Australians
in their mid-60s who love to travel
and to care for their grandchildren.
They take good care of themselves,
and are dedicated to ‘adding years
to life’, by exercising and eating well,
but don’t realise that developing
pneumococcal pneumonia could
change all of that.
‘ The stark reality is, all adults aged
65 and over are at increased risk
of contracting pneumococcal
pneumonia due to their age alone,
and pneumococcal vaccination can
‘add life to years,’ A/Prof Morgan said.
Worryingly, the ‘Breathe well, age
well’ research found the majority of
Australians at-risk of pneumococcal
pneumonia do not intend to vaccinate
against the preventable infection.
‘ While the majority of Australians (64%)
aged 18–74 have had a flu shot at some
stage in their lives, only 20% of those at
highest risk of infection, cite they have
been vaccinated against this often fatal
lung infection,’ A/Prof Morgan said.
This year, Pneumonia Awareness
Week aimed to raise awareness,
especially among older Australians,
of the importance of protecting
against pneumococcal pneumonia,
given among seniors aged 65–74 who
report they are yet to vaccinate against
pneumococcal pneumonia, 40% are
not even aware of the pneumococcal
A/Prof Morgan said that while the
vaccination rate for pneumonia is highest
among those aged 65–74 years at 37%,
this still leaves the majority, almost two-thirds
of people aged 65-74 years, unvaccinated
against pneumococcal pneumonia.
‘Of great concern, is the fact that the
rate of vaccination among this age
group remains low despite our efforts
to raise awareness.
‘Furthermore, only 17% of Australians
aged 65–74 are even aware that
pneumonia is among the top five
leading causes of hospitalisation in
Australia,’ A/Prof Morgan said.
1. Breathe well, age well. Pneumonia 2016 survey.
Conducted by Galaxy Research and commissioned
by Lung Foundation Australia. April 2016.
Fee for service
Another benefit of has been pharmacists
becoming more comfortable with
charging a fee for providing the service.
Dr Nissen said that the second year
of the pilot was different to the first.
Initially pharmacists had wanted to see
that it was possible to ask for a fee and
that people would actually to come and
pay for a pharmacist to administer a
‘For us in an environment where we
had a number of organisations offering
vaccinations quite cheaply – vaccination
services administered by nurses or other
providers and where our people were
asking $20 or $25 for a vaccination while
others were asking $9 – people were still
willing to come to the pharmacies and
pay for them.
‘I think that sent a very strong message
about the value proposition around
what is a clinical service and what
people are prepared to value with
regards to their healthcare.
‘ We had pharmacists coming in droves
to the second roll out of the phase
two trial because they could see that
there was a potential value that people
would place on the service. We had no
complaints on the price.’
While it was not all plain sailing, and
was never expected to be, reflecting
on the process of getting pharmacist
delivered immunisation established in
Queensland and nationally Dr Nissen
said: ‘The experience we had was that
it was galvanising for the organisations
to work together through a steering
committee that was convened to
organise the pilot with a common goal
for not only Queensland but nationally.
‘ They didn’t get into the mire of the
cost. Developing the professional
practice and the standards around an
immunisation program gave us a really
good professional position that we have
a lot of experience in through PSA.’
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